To Cut, Or Cover Your Crust Is The Question

pbjAs a child, I used to have the crust cut off of my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. I look back at my youth, and wonder why crust was not appealing.

Crust is excessive. It’s in the way. The peanut butter nor the jelly usually makes it to the crust, unless the painter works hard to cover the edges. It’s boring to children. Children want color and fun. Non-painted crust is neither.

So, to make the sandwich even more interesting, I demanded hearts and designs be carved onto the peanut butter and jelly. Sometimes I would request my name, but I really liked the signature heart shape my Mom would carve onto my sandwich. The crustless wonder sandwich with a heart in the middle was it!

Is the act of covering the edges, cutting the crust off or carving a design into the sandwich a sign of good integrity? Or when it comes to being a parent, are parents just selfless? Is being selfless a whole other level when it comes to the relationship between parents and children?

I think my Mom was selfless. A level beyond good old fashioned integrity. She followed instructions from the little me, because if I was happy, then she was happy. Her being ‘happy’ was when I wasn’t being a spoiled brat. Me being a ‘spoiled brat’ entails many things:

1.) Crying on cue to get what I wanted. I still can for roles!

2.) Playing dead to get attention, which didn’t work after a couple times. No one even ‘came to my funeral’ after all the nice personalized invites :/

3.) Running away. It was so fun to go two houses down and sit under the tree as if I really ran away to California at 6.

The one thing that I couldn’t get no matter how many times I cried, played dead or ran away, was the holy grail- a Power Wheel. Oh my stars, I would have run that PW into the ground and killed the battery after my hardcore ventures.powerwheelscorvette

So, my kid friends who did have them, they were letting me borrow theirs for spins around the hood. ‘Look at me! I’m an adult in a miniature car! I have a license!’

Maybe the declination of the PW was good for me. I mean, I could have driven all the way across the country instead of running away to the tree 2 houses down! The unfulfilled dream for the Power Wheel I longed so much for, made me hungry for whatever else. I dunno, maybe more Oreos. Oh precious Oreos crushed up on vanilla ice cream. My Brother and I loved, loved, loved our late night Oreo ice cream and TV! But really, since I couldn’t have that big object I wanted, I had to transfer that energy into something else.

Back to the PBJ…

Crust that isn’t covered with PBJ is still boring. Now that I am in control of the sandwich making, I make sure to cover the sandwich to the edges. If you can’t manage to cover the PBJ to the edges, then cut the crust off. But why not just go that extra half an inch so you don’t have to cut the crust? Maybe you just don’t like the texture of crust. That’s a whole other story!

Mom, I thought I needed the crust cut off, and you cut that crust off for me. You probably tried to show me that covering the edges would make the sandwich perfect, but I declined, and then demanded the sawed off square.

Mom, your PBJs meant the world to me. When I was sitting all alone in the lunchroom with my lunchbox, I remember opening it and seeing the sandwich you made. You wrote me little notes that said you loved me and to have a good day at school. You knew how much I hated going, and those notes made me feel comforted and better so I could go on with my day with more confidence.

So keeping the crust and covering it is like having the glass half full. Cutting the crust off to eliminate the the non-covered areas, is kind of like having the glass half empty. Now, the question is: Are you a covered crust, or a smaller no-crust square PBJ? 🙂

After all said and done, PBJs are still good, and if someone makes me one with or without crust- I will eat it.

I want this now:

Peanut-Butter-and-Jelly-Banana-Dog